Carter County

From the darkest depths of Dorset comes Carter County, the culmination of 30 years of experiences, songwriting, and the influence of the Man in Black. Mark Carter has been on the local music scene for awhile now, in a number of guises, and bands – all with a country and western feel. And for those who know his work, a strong Johnny Cash influence, especially vocally. In fact anyone who has seen Cash Converted will know Mark as the frontman who does sound like the Man In black.

Opening proceedings, and possibly one of the strongest on the album “Ride The Train”, with a strong “train track” rhythm and vocal styling that is unmistakably influenced by the late Mr. Cash. But this album is no tribute, but more a personal and lovingly crafted collection of old and new tunes that Mark has written over the last 3 decades.

“Bitter Drunk” slows downs proceedings as he reflects on a love gone awry, as he waits sitting by the phone, while Jonny Bruce provides a laid back rhythm (for those who know him more from his Pronghorn work!).

The title track perfectly sums up the album, opening with a strong bassline from Mr. Cotton that just seems to crawl straight into your subconscious, while Marks’ rich vocals draw you directly in.

“Twelve Hours” has more of the “twangy” sounding guitar work, with the vocals being delivered in a more laid-back smoother style, and subtly infectious bass, not forgetting some wonderful lap steel work from Mr. D.

For a change of pace the “Punk And The Pasty” is possibly the most humorous track on the album, and far from being the novelty track. It is a catchy track that you keep going back to, and a situation that no doubt a number of men have been in! With its rock ’n roll tempo, and harmonica, this track is simplify infectious.

The sound is undeniably country and western, with a strong bass-line, and vocals that could easily be Johnny Cash – especially when offset against Kate’s vocals. But all performed with originality and flair, and with themes about love, hedonism, and escapism. To be fair the clue is in the title! To offset the dark nature of album, there are strong themes of love, and love gone astray. With most of the subject matter having the aforementioned dark spin, it is surprising to find your foot tapping along to the more catchy aspects of the album.

Carter County

Mark has pooled together 30 years of songwriting to produce this album, and with plenty of material left over we hope to see more releases.

This is stunning album, a slice of South Coast infused Americana.

Line Up
Mark Carter – Vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Mike Cotton – Bass
Little Dave – Harp
Andy Razz – Electric Guitar
Paul Somers – Electric Guitar
Kate Porter – Backing vocals
Mike Nicholls – Drums
Jon Bruce – Snare & brushes
Mr. D. – Lap steel
Hawkeye Houlihan – Banjo
Stilts – Violin
Steve Ennever – Percussion, organ
Dave McKenzie – Electric guitar

Track Listing
Ride The Train
Bitter Drunk
Silver & Gold
It’s A Sin
Lovin’ Arms
Trains, Dames and Pain
Cassy’s Song
Twelve Hours
Suicidal Secrets
Happy Song
Hallway Song
Punk And The Pasty
You And Me
Sea Bass
The Ribbon


Words by Jon.
Videos by Jon while at Hope FM.

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